30 Days to a Better Man

30 Days to a Better Man Day 2: Shine Your Shoes

There’s a lot of sage wisdom to be found in the film Shawshank Redemption. But there is one detail the movie got wrong: people do notice your shoes (especially women). And while it’s true that people don’t spend an awful lot of time staring at your shoes, you’d be surprised at how often you look at your own feet. And when you look down and can practically see your reflection in your shoes, it gives you a sense of satisfaction, a boost in you confidence, and some added pep in your step. Too many men put on a nice pair of dress pants and a freshly pressed shirt, but then ruin the whole get-up with scuffed shoes. A pair of glassy, shined shoes will pull your whole appearance together.

So your task today is to shine your shoes. Get out every pair of dress shoes that you own and get them all into ship shape condition. You never know when you’re going to need to don a pair, and the last thing you want to do is be ready to run at the door to an important meeting and realize that your shoes are in no condition to meet the public. Having a closet full of shined shoes ensures that you are ready for any occasion, at the drop of a hat. Plus, shining your shoes is the kind of quiet, repetitive activity that will calm your mind and soothe your stress.

To get started on today’s task, check out our post on “How to Shine Your Shoes Like a Soldier.” You don’t need a fancy shoe shining kit to do this. Just a few cans of Kiwi shoe polish and a couple of rags can get the job done. You can find shoe polish at most drug and grocery stores for a couple of bucks a can.

After you’re all set up, read these additional shoe shining tips we gleaned from that post’s numerous comments:

1. Rubbing alcohol is a good polish stripper, which should be done every so often, particularly if the boots haven’t been shined in a long time (dirt gets embedded into the polish). (From Eric B.)

2. Those little pantyhose-like foot covers they have at shoe stores? Grab a handful of those and stretch one taut and buff with a sawing motion as fast as you can for a few minutes. The friction and pressure combine to make a little heat that really brings the shine out. I never used anything more than an old pair of socks cut up into rags, a can of kiwi, and some old pantyhose, and I rarely find shinier shoes. (From Charlie)

3. Shine your boots to the usual black glass look, and then put a coat of BLUE Lincoln wax on and buff. The Blue wax would make your boots GLOW. (From Ron Waters)

4. I used cotton wool balls for ages until I discovered make-up removal pads (the little flat round ones). You can wrap them around your finger for much better control, they stand less chance of scratching the polish with a fingernail, and they don’t leave little bits of cotton behind if you’re a little careless. (From Tom)

After you’ve completed the task, check in with the 30 DBM Community and share how many shoes/boots you shined and any tips you might have on how to get a mirror shine.


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